GFCS to strengthen climate services in Sahel

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Global Framework on Climate Services (GFCS) has received a pledge of USD 1 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to strengthen climate services in the Sahel region. WMO will work in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to coordinate this initiative. 

More specifically, this new project will develop the capabilities of the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD) as a Regional Climate Center to better support Meteorological Services in the Sahel. It will also develop capacities in Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal to maximize the use of, and benefits from, weather and climate products delivered by ACMAD and other centres.

“This project comes at the right time,” said Mr Labo Moussa, Niger’s Permanent Representative to WMO. “It provides the means to implement the national plan of action for climate services that was officially approved by the government in December last year.”

It is estimated that 23.5 million people across the Sahel will be affected by food insecurity this year, out of which at least 6 million people will face severe food insecurity. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Sahel can expect to experience higher average temperatures over the course of the 21st century as well as changes in rainfall patterns. These trends will affect the frequency and severity of floods, droughts, desertification, sand and dust storms, desert locust plagues and water shortages. The recurring problems of the Sahel require putting in place structural solutions that address the underlying drivers of vulnerability.

With the USAID funding, the GFCS will assist the region to better manage the risks and opportunities arising from climate variability and change by developing and incorporating science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice.

(The opinions expressed in this news article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view of USAID.)

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